The Boston Celtics are through to the NBA finals with an 89-81 win over the Pistons. This has set up the 11th NBA final between the two most storied and most successful franchisees in the NBA. Ever since the Celtics acquired KG and Ray Allen and the Lakers got Pau Gasol, this is the match-up all neutral fans have dreamt about. And finally, the two teams have negotiated the obstacle course that is the conference play-offs to set up the dream match-up.
This rivalry has been blessed by intense competition and outstanding performances of the greatest names in the game. This rivalry has seen the duel between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, the face-off between Magic and Bird and it is their performances on this great stage which made these players legends.
Now, we will see KG and Kobe – two men who have more then just a title at stake. The former has been regarded as the greatest player of his generation never to have won a title. Questions have been asked of his ability to perform on the biggest stage and now he has the chance to answer all his critics. Kobe will get a chance to show that he can lead the Lakers to a title without the help of Shaq and that should shut up O’Neal for good. It is also their chance to be counted in the same breath as the guys mentioned earlier.
The two franchisees have had contrasting fortunes since they last met in a final. The Celtics lost Reggie Lewis and Len Bias to early deaths and have never contended for a title since. They were the joke of the NBA last year and even the most die-hard fans were losing faith in the team. A title could wash away all the pain suffered in the last 21 years.
The Lakers have been in multiple finals and have added three more rings to their collection since. They are on the verge of starting a new dynasty with Kobe, Gasol, Odom and possibly Bynum. A title will cap off the dream season they have had this year – a movie script which could have only been written in LA (Hollywood)
This dream match-up can only be compared to Borg – McEnroe in a Wimbledon final, or Brazil – Argentina in a World Cup Game or India- Pakistan in a cricket Cup Final. Yes, this is how big it is. This is the opportunity of a sports fan’s lifetime.
Basketball is the kind of game that can get your heart pumping and your pulse racing. With baskets being scored after every two or three minutes, the game takes fascinating twists and turns. And when we have teams like the Celtics and the Lakers playing, expect nothing less than a roller coaster ride! My advice is : Go watch the NBA finals, even if you haven’t held a basketball in your lifetime.